The New Year offers a fresh start and the end of the year is the time that you can focus on preparing for that fresh start. It’s always nice to make sure that the clutter and chaos don’t follow you into January.
Here are 8 things to do before the calendar flips:
1. Get Accounting in Order
Catch up with your bookkeeping, pay bills, send invoices, pay your sales tax. You may want to meet with your accountant to make sure you’re current on your estimated taxes and talk to them about any year-end tax savings (like buying a new computer or making a charitable donation).
2. Organize Files
Ever feel like there is never a right time to organize your files? Now is the time! Take some time before January to organize digital & paper files, this includes all those photos on your phone and business receipts.
3. Backup & Archive
If you don’t have a regular back up plan, now is the time to do that. Make sure that you are regularly backing up your computer and your phone and that it’s stored in at least two places - two different drives stored separately, or a harddrive and in the cloud - I’m still surprised that people skip this step. You should also be putting away any client projects that you completed this year.
4. Dream & Plan for Next Year
You won’t get where you want to go by chance, you need to create a plan for getting there! Confidence in your business comes from having a plan. Consider my 63-page Interior Design Business Planner.
5. Holiday Cards & Gifts
Get your holiday cards and client gifts in order. (See the 2018 Client Gift Guide) How nice is it to get something other than a bill in the mailbox nowadays? You’ll stand out and make your clients and vendors feel special.
6. Order a New Yearly Planner & Office Supplies
Like starting a new school year for adults, this is a great time to stock up on office supplies for the next year. I look forward to a fresh planner every January with a blank slate full of possibilities.
7. Consider Raising Your Rates
The transition into the next year is a natural division if you need to increase your rates. Now is the time to do that. Here is a helpful how-to article. Manufacturers usually raise their rates at this time too.
8. Celebrate Your Victories
It is important to take time to recognize all the amazing things that you accomplished over the past year - big and small. There are probably more than you realize. Write them all down. It’ll make you feel accomplished. Part of celebrating yourself is making sure that you are taking time off and treating yourself to something special - because you are celebrating!